Heritage Now

Age of the Incredible Canadian, 1921–1948

Dec 3rd, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

Bruce Hutchison’s The Incredible Canadian — A candid portrait of Mackenzie King : his works, his times, and his nation was first published in 1952, only two years after the death of the man who is still Canada’s longest-serving prime minister (1921-1926, 1926-1930, 1935-1948). The first few sentences of the book’s first chapter nonetheless remain [...]



Our Lady of the Snows, 1911–1921

Aug 11th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

In his Oxford History of the American People the sometimes controversial  New England historian Samuel Eliot Morison wrote that “the ‘King and Country’ argument was freely employed” in the 1911 Canadian federal election campaign. And “one of Rudyard Kipling’s worst poems, ‘Our Lady of the Snows,’ was widely circulated to rebuke the impudent Yankees.” Ironically [...]



Sunny Ways : Imperial Preference, New Boom, and Last Best West, 1896–1911

May 28th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

The late 19th century Canadian liberal nationalist light that failed was Edward Blake —  founder of the early 21st century business law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP (aka “Blakes”), with offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Montréal, New York City, London (England), Beijing, and Manama (Bahrain). Blake came from a well-off progressive family of [...]



Arduous Destiny : Canada’s alternative to the Great Barbecue, 1873-1896

Mar 8th, 2017 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

The Dominion of Canada might have evolved in a somewhat less British imperial direction over the last three decades of the 19th century, if French Canada had discovered some worthy successor to George-Étienne Cartier. The closest approximation was probably Hector-Louis Langevin, after whom the Ottawa building (“Block”) that houses the 21st century Prime Minister’s Office [...]



First self-governing dominion of the British empire : Further founding moments, 1867–1873

Sep 15th, 2016 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

In the early 21st century it is not easy to think constructively about the now largely vanished first self-governing British dominion of Canada. The  northern North American universe from the late 1860s to the early 1960s is both too remote yet still too close at hand. Then there is the late historian Ramsay Cook’s quip [...]



The American Civil War and the British North America Act, 1867

Apr 15th, 2016 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

Political deadlock in the United Province of Canada probably was a big enough cause of the wider confederation of British North American provinces, for the 2.5 million people who were living in the United Province by the early 1860s. It meant next to nothing, however, for the 583,000 people in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick [...]



The Canadian boom of the 1850s and the road to Confederation, 1848–1864

Feb 19th, 2016 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

In the early 21st century the loyal Canadian Pamela Anderson told a querulous talk show host on US TV that Canada is “more European” than the United States. In the middle of the 19th century you could see variations on this theme in the British North American triumph of responsible government (or early parliamentary democracy) [...]



The beginnings of various regional democracies in what is now Canada, after the War of 1812

Aug 21st, 2015 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

The establishment of several regional political cultures of united empire loyalism was one thing going on in the second British North America during the first half of the 19th century. Something of this old imperial and monarchist ideology still has traction in some parts of Canada today. Yet it is no longer at any centre [...]



The new northern British America in the late 18th and early 19th centuries

Jun 17th, 2015 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

On the world wide web today the Wikipedia entry for “United Empire Loyalist” declares that “Loyalists settled in what was initially Quebec … and modern-day Ontario … and in Nova Scotia (including modern-day New Brunswick). Their arrival marked the beginning of a predominantly English-speaking population in the future Canada west and east of the Quebec [...]



Three 18th century wars that made two countries, 1754–1784

May 15th, 2015 | By Randall White | Category: Heritage Now

Just seven days after Anthony Henday set out on his summer explorations in the far north,  a British American force from Virginia was defeated by a rival Canadian, French, and Indian alliance, at a marshy clearing in what is now western Pennsylvania called Great Meadows. The defeated force was led by the 22-year-old, six-foot-two-inch Lieutenant [...]